According to the Associated Press, the infamous glove that then 12-year-old Jeffrey Maier used to reach over the right field fence in the eighth inning of Game 1 of the 1996 ALCS between the Yankees and Orioles is up for auction.
Of course, Maier didn’t actually catch the ball with the glove. He deflected it before someone else walked away with it. However, Maier robbed Tony Tarasco of a potential catch and the controversial play resulted in a game-tying home run for Derek Jeter. It’s come to be known as “The Jeffrey Maier” home run. The Yankees went on to win the game on a Bernie Williams homer in the 11th and took the series in five games before defeating the Braves in the World Series. It would be their first of four titles in five seasons. There’s a lot of narrative in that glove.
Maier held on to the glove for a while before selling it to a collector and that collector is now putting it up for sale. Heritage Auctions is running an online auction of the glove through Friday evening and a “floor session” on Saturday and Sunday. Bidding was already up to $13,000 at last check and the estimated value is somewhere in the range of $50,000. It will probably end up in the hands of another collector, but surely there are some Orioles fans out there who would like to see it destroyed. Time to mobilize.
Here’s video of the infamous moment:
[mlbvideo id=”2685723″ width=”400″ height=”224″ /]
José Bautista hasn’t appeared in the majors since 2018 but the 39-year-old isn’t done playing just yet. Last month, we learned via a report from ESPN’s Jeff Passan that Bautista is hoping to come back as a two-way player. He spent the winter working out as a pitcher.
Bautista had also been working with former Blue Jays teammate Marcus Stroman. Back in January, Stroman tweeted, “My bro @JoeyBats19 is nasty on the mound. We been working working. All jokes aside, this man can pitch in a big league bullpen. I’ll put my word on it!”
In March, Passan added some details about Bautista, writing, “I’ve seen video of Jose Bautista throwing a bullpen session. Couldn’t tell the velocity, but one source said he can run his fastball up to 94. His slider had legitimate tilt — threw a short one and a bigger bender. @STR0 said in January he could pitch in a big league bullpen.” Stroman retweeted it, adding, “Facts!”
Stroman reiterated his feelings on Tuesday. He tweeted, “Since y’all thought I wasn’t being serious when I said it the first time…my bro @JoeyBats19could EASILY pitch in a big league bullpen. Easily. Sinker, slider, and changeup are MLB ready!” Stroman attached a video of Bautista throwing a slider, in which one can hear Stroman calling the pitch “nasty.”
Stroman attached another video of Bautista throwing a glove-side sinker:
Replying to a fan, Stroman said Bautista’s body “is in better shape than 90-95% of the league.”
I am not a scout and won’t pretend to be one after watching two low-resolution videos. And Stroman’s hype is likely partially one friend attempting to uplift another. That being said, I’ve seen much worse from position players attempting to pitch. It’s a long shot, especially given his age, that Bautista will ever pitch in the majors, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see him get an opportunity to pitch in front of major league scouts.